It’s the little things that uncover themselves, often without prompting, that make writing for The Groove so amusing. Mike Post, award-winning television theme music composer (famous for The A-Team, Magnum, P.I., Doogie Howser, M.D., CHiPs, Hardcastle and McCormick, NewsRadio, Quantum Leap, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The Rockford Files, NYPD Blue, The Greatest American Hero, and of course, Law & Order) won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for the playful, finger-pickin’ 1968 single by Mason Williams titled, Classical Gas. Mr. Williams, then the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, would also take home two Grammys of his own for the song, which was originally titled Classical Gasoline (artistic and virtuosic fuel for classical guitarists). The track appears as the first song on side B of the featured album, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record (Warner Bros. – Seven Arts Records, Cat. No. WS 1729).
Back in 1968, record producer and conductor Dominick P. Costa (Don) released a 10-track album of instrumental Simon and Garfunkel songs titled, Don Costa’s Instrumental Versions of Simon and Garfunkel. All the hits are here (Feelin’ Groovy, Mrs. Robinson, I Am A Rock, etc.), and as a whole, Don Costa’s Instrumental Versions of Simon and Garfunkel is a welcoming and approachable take on these unforgettable 1960s classics. Certainly not one for a frequent spin, these 10-tracks come in handy when the subtle weight of S&G have hit their limits.
1969’s best selling album (in the US), was also the second studio effort by San Diego psychedelic rock Gods, Iron Butterfly. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the song, occupies the entire second side of the record, and clocks in at a whopping 17:05. Atlantic Records wouldn’t see a more successful album until the release of Led Zeppelin’s IV in 1971. Which begs the question, why has it taken me so long to obtain this piece of modern rock history?!
A familiar sight to many of you who own, what I’ll argue to be, one of the top 10 recorded pop albums of all time. Van Morrison’s 1968 Astral Weeks is a timeless, immortal collection of eight tracks broken into two parts: In the Beginning (side A) and Afterwards (Side B). Though Astral Weeks is technically Mr. Morrison’s second studio record, it is, without question, his first, and best album.
The only other album that I’ve ever heard to legitimately rival The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968, The Kinks) is, of course, Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies (1968). Newbury Comics did an exclusive run back in 2015 of 1000 on… let me look it up because, you know, accuracy… “Red, Blue & Yellow Haze” vinyl. It’s no longer available on Newbury’s site (though I highly recommend their limited run exclusives), but as with most anything, it can be found over at Discogs. If you’ve got the green for some red, blue and yellow, we suggest this amazing and limited reissue.
I was beside myself with excitement back in 2015 for this Record Store Day release of Rainbow Ffolly’s 1968 debut, Sallies Fforth… that was until I realized that it skipped on all three of my turntables. Brand new, extracted from beneath the cellophane coffin myself, and she skips… multiple times. This led me to believe, or at least consider, that it may be time to up the quality of my “everyday” turntable. So, once the fog of damage that is my car repair bill finally settles, it’ll be turntable hunting time. I guess it would be cheaper just to buy another copy of this classic psychedelic album, but I’m not one for taking chances.
The Timmy Vig Orchestra’s 1968 The Sound of the Seventies boasts a very presumptuous title… not to say it wasn’t completely spot on (redundant, I know… but I’m sticking with it). Anyway, I was going to dive into this elaborate concoction about how this is how the seventies SHOULD have sounded and blah, blah, blah, but then I ran into personal, and very time consuming issues. I’ll have to circle back on this one, because she’s an essential grab.
Little known fact… I did not know that Steve Miller, Milwaukee, WI native, was the Godson of guitar legend Les Paul. I’m not surprised, per se, but it is an interesting fact. It just so happened that I found The Steve Miller Band’s sophomore studio album (pictured here) at a Goodwill near the Milwaukee area, some several years ago. With a beautiful cover, Sailor featured the last appearance from original band member, Boz Scaggs. The more you know.
Death of a Clown received an outstanding rerelease on this Dave Davies Hits 7″ for 2016’s Record Store Day. One of three Kinks releases, Dave Davies Hits also contains the personal fav, Susannah’s Still Alive. I, of course, say this with all due respect, but thankfully, Dave’s personal career didn’t take off in 1968. Village Green, Lola, Arthur, and Muswell were all to follow, and I for one can’t imagine what they would have been without master Dave on the 6-string.
I was all excited to post about my favorite Beatles album on an obscure and improbable medium… until I test them out. Part 1 works like a champ, but Part 2 done do shit! I contacted the seller and he suggested that the tape may have flipped over… not at all sure what this means. Anyway, White Album party will have to wait for the damn Part 2 to get its shit together.
I’ve been in a bit of a pure, uncomplicated mood lately. Yesterday, Simon & Garfunkel got some play, along with Metronomy, and today we’ll celebrate Glenn Miller with this six LP box set titled, The Unforgettable Glenn Miller 70 of His Greatest Original Recordings. Little to nothing is left out on this massive collection, which was released by Reader’s Digest in 1968. All the obvious classics are here, but what I find most interesting is the various collaborators found within. Glenn Miller and The Modernaires, Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band, Glenn Miller and Ray Eberle, Glenn Miller and Tex Beneke, Glenn Miller and Marion Hutton, and Glenn Miller and Kay Starr to name a few. Six LPs will most definitely take some time to finish… I just hope I’m not out of my melon collie mood before then.
Feeling a bit on the homesick side of things lately, and it doesn’t get more “home-y” than J.R. Cash. This 1968 copy of the 2-LP set, The Heart of Johnny Cash was owned by my Grandfather, and was one of the great, many Cash albums I acquired after his inevitable, yet unfortunate death. What I wouldn’t give to share a whiskey and a spin with him now.
Johnny Cash, the perfect remedy for the homesick blues.
Everybody can use a little Dino Martino on a random Tuesday evening, am I right? I remember, more like I can’t forget, a rumor about Dino drinking nonalcoholic, or watered-down cocktails during The Dean Martin Show and other public appearances where we was seen “drinking cocktails.” Descent shtick, I suppose. Anyway, I can’t, for the life of me, think of any current day Dean Martins! I can see Michael Bublé as a modern day Sinatra, although I’ve never heard any accounts of Bublé beating women, but he’s young. (The Prudent Groove does not advocate the beating of women, and has a zero tolerance policy towards arrogance in general.)
Big Brother & the Holding Company’s 2nd studio album, 1968’s Cheap Thrills, featured not only the groundbreaking single, Piece of My Heart, but also a vibrantly illustrated cover by Robert Crumb. Rolling Stone created a list of the 100 greatest album covers of all time. Cheap Thrills ranks no. 9. Interesting fact is that this was originally intended to be the album’s BACK cover, but apparently Ms. Joplin preferred Crumb’s art to a picture of herself and Columbia Records swapped covers. Smart move if you ask me, and you didn’t.
Side note: All this time I thought Southern Comfort took Janis. Thanks for that one, Bruce! Heroin, eh. Moderation, kids! Oh, and happy Friday!
I’ve been quietly waiting something close to 13 years to obtain this album. I’d held it in my hands a few times in the $40 – $50 range, but tended to fall back on the pieced together mp3 version instead of pulling the high number trigger. I now know why I’ve not been able to find the Slayer records at brick and mortars for like, ever (Reign in Blood, South of Heaven). It is, obviously, because I needed to have already been a lucrative owner of the first “heavy metal” album, as a means of respect and homage to the genre.
This album about jumped out at me today while at the Santa Monica BnM (you can figure it out), and I paid it nearly no mind other than to include it into my stack of Dead Man’s Bones and Bauhaus LPs (Bela Lugosi’s Dead and Mask), outside the obvious, “yes, this one is a no-brainer” type spiel. Long, heartfelt story short, I’d held out for a reason, for you see, this is a first mono, US pressing of 1968’s Vincebus Eruptum, and I squared it for only $11. Checkout the current market rate for this historical goldmine. Heavy metal was, in the minds of many, born with this album, and I just brought her home. Today was a good day.